The Sierra Leone Web

  Ibrahim Bangura is from Freetown. He holds a B.A in History and Political Science and a Masters in Gender Studies from ourah Bay College and is presently pursuing a Msc. In International Development Studies at the University of Amsterdam.  



Will you think of me tomorrow?
Will you remember what you are saying now?
If you do, will you smile or hiss?
Will i be the one or part of the many others?
Will that chill that run down my body when you touched me
run through your heart
when the thoughts pass.
Will you look into my eyes when we meet again?

Will tomorrow bring pain or joy?
Will the grief of disappointment weigh me down?
How many more tomorrows
will i see with you?
I gave all today with prayers and hopes
That tomorrow will bring happiness to a beaten heart.


Running into Nothing

You're young
You're wild
You're flyinfg
but you ain't going anywhere.

You will be caught
You will be tied down
by time and nature
by the hands of destiny.

You assume strength
You feign resilience
but you will be tricked
into a cheap surrender

Have i not been there?
Do i not know?
Keep on flying
Keep on running into oblivion.


The Exam

Me thought it will be the brothers only
Cold and trembling I moved on
The streets of New York unwelcoming
Brothers disgruntled passed by
Swearing at the cold,
arms folded inviting heat.

Behold the cousins inundated the place
The credit crunch has smashed image
The cousins are fighting for crumbs now
Move! This way, no that!
Form straight lines

Pink and blue, white and gray we stood
The cold eating us all
The cousins shaking and sneezing
Lined up in the cold we stood
Amazed I was for hundreds I saw
I was lost in the whiteness

Is this for a job?
A surprised passing brother asked.
I looked at the lords
They turned and smiled
Not offering an answer
I said “yes a job”

In tens we filed into the hall
Tense like soldiers
Our pens were our guns
A sister came close


Have seen it all

I have seen enough blood
To appreciate peace
I have seen enough human loss
To appreciate life

I have seen enough trouble
To appreciate calm
I have tasted raw hate
To appreciate love

I have heard so many curses
To appreciate blessings
I have heard so many woes
To appreciate appreciation

I have tasted enough bitterness
To appreciate sweetness
I have seen enough frowns
To appreciate smiles

I have heard many condemnations
To appreciate praises
I have been pushed too far
To appreciate hugs

I have been in the darkness too long
To appreciate light
I have been in the cold too long
To appreciate warmth

I have been afraid too long
To appreciate confidence
I have lost so much
To appreciate winning

I have heard so much noise
To appreciate quiet
I have left myself behind too long
To appreciate loving myself


You Lied

We will make you carpenters
You said
We will make you farmers
You said

You lied
You know it
You wanted our guns
You wanted our knives

We will give you homes
You said
We will give you bread
You said

You lied
You know it
You looked into our eyes
And you lied with a smile

We will make you happy
You said
We will make you better
You said

You lied
You know it
Now you have our guns
But not our promise


The Ghosts are Back

My dreams troubled
Acts of the past come back clear
Terrible and horrible I was
Terrified and horrified I am now

Killing a sport to me
For joy I found in it
Ignorance and arrogance
Coupled with sadism
My past defines

I am stuck
With my creations
My mind a constant reminder
The visions clear
The ghosts of yesterday are back

Are the cries
Mine or their’s?
They seem entangled
Tied, I am, for tied I did to them
The ghosts are here to stay

Pleas and cries I hear
The cold breeze I feel
The ghosts won’t let me sleep
I close my eyes, block my ears
But ah! the screams I hear more and more


Victims of Madness

The stick found its way inside me
With the force of human help
Everything battered on its way
I was destroyed, damaged inside out.

I am drowning
Help not near
Left out, shame the cause
Families their back one sees
For the face is elsewhere turned

I am a victim of madness
The war I did not bring
My life destroyed
Gun in the head
Stick in my inside

Leaking and smelling I passed
Medicine not my portion
Afford it I cannot
Abandoned I am
All love lost, for a burden I was.

Curse and swear I did
Someone has hurt me hard
Friends spit as they pass
I am sad, I am dying
Why does no one care?


My Gun, My Hope

My gun, my strength
Give it they say
Give me reason why? I ask
How can I give my hope?
My respect, my identity?

Give it they say,
We give you money
We give you food.
Why should I when with it
I can find food and money

Big and empty words
Promises from the nose
White teeth, broad smiles.
For me, decisions, the right one.
For my gun is my manhood.

Petrified I am to go back
My family will kill me
Hurt them hard, I did.
My gun is my freedom.
They will never understand


Hacked off

Long sleeve or short sleeve
The bastard shouted
The question of death
The choice of mutilation

Did I ever say
that I hate any part o me?
Did I ever tell you, I want
a part of me longer or shorter?

Hacked off, the limb went
Meat for scavengers
Deprived I am
Hopes with limb disappear

Fed like a child
Broken like a jar
No light at my tunnels end
Shrouded I sit, waiting my time.


The Searching Searcher

In the heat of the sun
When rain knows no stop
In the midst of trepidations and tribulations
Like a lioness looking for a lost cub
The Searching Searcher searches on.

Knowing no peace
Knowing no tranquility
Knowing no friend
With mind on fire
The Searching Searcher searches on.

Where is love?
Where is joy?
Where is happiness?
To find them he must.
The Searching Searcher searches on.


The Fiendish Imp

Let me be.
I stand whole.
all I gave, none I received.
My heart went, a hole came.
Love is deaf
Love is dumb
I learnt, I will implement
That imp, that fiendish imp.

Let me be
I will survive
The hole will be covered
I will forever hear now
I will forever talk now
That imp, that fiendish imp.


National Crisis

An aeon of time wasted
From books to guns.
From guns to book
An agglutination of both at times

H.E. This wants
H.E. That wants
H.E. None gets
H.E The guns become

Analogous politicians
Analogous soldiers
That ambit none transcends
My nation in crisis.

In a National Crisis my country is
No future for us.
No schools, no fun.
My Country in National Crisis.


The Un-get-at-able Land

With thoughts of sugar-coated houses
Of beds made of bread
Of rooftops made of ginger nuts
Of streets tarred with ice cream
Of taps that produce juice
Tony boy thinks of that land.
That land beyond the seas.
That un-get-at-able land.

The father a moron
The mother helpless
Ah! Tony boy the dreamer of the land beyond the seas.
"Till me," the land cries
"Rebuild me," the houses shout.
Ah! Tony boy hallucinates.


Feeling the Unknown

Permanently yours
The Imaginative Imaginer
Blind to the world
Felt like feeling the Unknown.
I'm the cause, the effect drawer.
She entered, all unknown
The Seductive Seducer.

Temporarily yours
The burns, the toils, the pangs of love
Blind to women
Started feeling the Unknown
Like Judas she went
Like Christ I was nailed.
I have seen the Unknown.
I have felt the Unknown.


Let It Go

Let the hands of yesterday go.
Let it go mama.
How can you hold on to yesterday
When you have today and tomorrow?
You bleed, weep and wail
You burn like hell
Naked and in ruin thou art.
Forgiveness seems impossible
Forget is unthinkable.

The rivers cry
The mountains bleed
For the kids went mad.
Today the dust is settling.
Forgiveness is summoned.
Etched into your brain
Fresh in your mind
Memories of pain and trials are
For you I feel, for I know.

The unvarnished truth can never be known
For my brothers now play reticence.
The cardinal sin has been committed.
The fundamental mistake has been made.
What kind of a fool my brothers are?
I still don't know.

How can one rape his mother?
How can one kill his sister?
How can one burn his children?
Ah! I carry a pervasive and debilitating fear -
For this our generation is a different one.
We lost what we should hold dear.

Mama I plead, leave the past alone.
History will be on your side.
Their yesterday will be their tomorrow.
They shall not know night nor day.
They will burn and they will cry.
Your unspoken pains and enforced cry
Shall their wages turn.


The Buccaneer

In the path of destiny we meet,
Your rocky and merciless face
Like Medusa has turned by pocket stone.
Who created you?
My maker will not for him I know.

Because of you marriages scatter.
By your will fathers get no respect.
For how can one control when
He lacks the weapon of control.
You thief, you stole that weapon.

You bring age faster
You draw death nearer
The young scorn you
The old hate you
Your name is cursed.

Like a locust entering a barn
You enter lives and render it empty.
Ah! This incomprehensible thing.
Managers even kids are now
For one can never be sure of tomorrow.

Poverty, this to you should never be joyful.
For every person covered goes with a part of you.
The last man will go with the last of you.
No winner no loser.
Poverty dead all mankind dead.


My Own Man

Bruised and battered
Like the wreckage of Rome
The land I entered seem.

No milk no honey
Till and toil and turn we must
No smiles, no humour.

Fathers hard
Mothers helpless
At all cost ends must meet.

Streaming the Rokel Road
The moguls pass with broad cars
And beautiful smiles.

I must strive
I must succeed
I must be my own man.


My Eskimo Blanket

No friend, all foes
The cherub annihilator strikes again
Like the angel of death himself
Appalled like a widow
Reading loved one's epitaph I stand.
Alas a friend I see
The friend that bars the mighty wind.
My blanket
My Eskimo blanket
An insomniac charged to a drugged sleep.

Ah! My friend
To you I must pay obeisance
Against the wind I am rancoured. 
I cling to you to sleep more.


The Pumellers

On the sixth day
The Striking Strikers advanced
The putsch not contained
"Oh my God"
The pumelling pumellers pumelled us
Under the cacophony of gunshots
Our aegis fled
Alone I stand, naked and empty.

An obstreperous city
That pulsated into a battle zone
The strongest survive
The weakest perish
The pumeller pumelled on.
Bare I stand with my hand raised.


My Nubian Queen

Almost six feet tall
Like a star twinkling at night
You lighted a candle in me.

A cornucopia of beauty
A man's mesmerizer
My baby, my prodigy.

With imaginations of me
Driving through that velvety softness
My mind lingers on to sleep.

A monomaniac of my Queen
My Nubian Queen
My baby. My Goddess.

My heart every pico second stops
With thoughts of her lips, her eyes, her mouth.
My Goddess, My Queen, My Nubian heart.


My Trial

My Nuremberg or my Hague.
This trial of love has
My ebullient and fearless proposal dwindled.
Will I ever see? I doubt.

I am tumbling down the road of life
My pride truncated by the cherub's truncheon.
Like a madman I curse my star
Which the fragrant breeze of misfortune has turned downwards.

Hate her, hate her.
A fiend she is to humanity.
Refuse effemination my brother
My mind advises me.

How can I hate
When I have only love.
How can I term fiendish
The only thing I love.

Eclectic you are.
Magnificent brilliance propel
The aesthetics of nature and nature's God.
Can we ever be.



Like a magnet it draws the heart.
It blossoms like the Victoria Park.
And its products go far beyond
For such is true love.

It is made up of beauty and joy,
Happiness, friendship and celebrations.
It gives no heed to sorrow, pain or tribulation.
It holds no grudge, malice or hate.

The true source of earthly joy is love.
Children must have every bit of it.
For only when you know love
Will you be able to give it.

With love we take hope
Where there has only been despair.
We build bridges where
There has only been gulfs.

With love we kill hate
We destroy agony and despair.
We make God's work easier
When the true time reaches.


The Teenager

So soft and tender thou art
Full of energy and as bright as a full moon.
Thinking thyself a super-woman
Thou grabs the world.
The Casanovas wait to welcome thee.
Ears deaf, eyes blind you give in.
Into Disney World you get
For no one like you will be.

Like a vixen after the  heat period
You would be left
With an award of deficiency.
A customer of the male kind.
Pride lost, dignity lost.
Strike a catch or time catches you.


My Mistress Turn Bad

I stand averred from my very self.
The gulf widening
My heart palpitating
What went wrong? I wondered.
My offered nosegay crushed
My mind in an oubliette
My head like a tornado turns.
Ah! My mistress has turned bad.

Like a mad lion,
I wandered lost in thought.
I circled my neighbourhood
Forgetting my home.
Ah! Only time will heal me
For now my heart is sick.